*Who are you? I’m Mackenzie Secord, though my friends call me Mac. I captain an ice-clipper and hunt food.
Why are you embarking on this quest? Quest? I wouldn’t call what I do a quest. We hunt to survive.
Where are you from? (Tell us about it) I’m originally from Newmarket, near Toronto, but that’s a lifetime ago. Now what few of us remain live in an abandoned military base in the Arctic. It’s a good location, some natural defences, and the wyrms aren’t near as abundant as they are in the warmer climes. At least, for now.
*Tell us about dragons in your world. We call them wyrms. They don’t fly, just crawl and burrow. Tough as all hell, too. They only have one real weak spot.
What is the political system of your world? These days? Chaos. I have no idea how many of us are left on this world. Sometimes we make contact with other settlements via shortwave. But that’s just sometimes.Doesn’t usually last long.
Do you have a family? Not any more. Next question.
Do you see yourself as a hero? What is a hero? Haven’t got a clue. I’m a survivor. I look after my crew and pray I can get them home safely. If that makes me a hero, then so be it.
What is the technology level of your world? I don’t right know anymore, though we’re probably a generation away from barbarism, if we live that long.
Where do dragons come from? Apparently through a series of portals. Scientists theorized it was some kind of alternate dimensional thing. Frankly, it’s above my pay grade.
Are there other such monsters in your world? God, I hope not!
Author questions (choose from):
*Who are you? Bruce Durham. Author of some thirty plus short stories. Sometime artist. Now currently semi-retired from the working world.
Why did you choose this world/era to write in? I’ve always had a fascination with the Arctic. This theme allowed me to explore an idea of mine, how remnants of mankind would chance settling in some remote, seemingly inhospitable part of the planet just to prevent their extinction.
Give us a couple of lines about your characters. All of my characters are survivors. Mackenzie captains the crew of an ice-clipper in search of food for her settlement. Before that she was in the army, and when the wyrms arrived, become one of the first females to pilot a Mühle, a construct designed to fight the invaders.
How much research did you need for your story? I did a fair amount on the Arctic, primarily the abandoned DEW line bases and some of the geography in northern Canada.
Have you written for anthologies before? How does it differ from writing a novel? I’ve been involved with several anthologies over the years. I enjoy writing short stories. Themed anthologies can be especially fun, though challenging, but worth it when a story is accepted. Unlike novels, short stories force you to get right down to business and (hopefully) hook the reader from the get-go.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? I’m definitely a plotter, though the pantser takes over while doing the actual writing. It’s a trade-off, so long as I stick to the story I’ve outlined.
What other novels/short stories have you written? No novels yet, but I’ve appeared in several publications and anthologies over the years. My very first sale, The Marsh God, was published in ‘Flashing Swords’. It placed first in the annual Preditors & Editors poll that year for best SF&F in the short story category. It was subsequently adapted into a graphic novel. Some anthologies I’ve appeared in are: Valley of Bones in ‘Return of the Sword’, Yaggoth-Voor in ‘Rage of the Behemoth’, Deathstalk in ‘Sha’Daa: Last Call’, Plains of Hell in ‘Lawyers in Hell’, Colony in ‘Rogues in Hell’ andHell-hounds in ‘Poets in Hell’. Anezka appeared in ‘Paradox: The Magazine of Historical & Speculative Fiction’ and I have a couple of stories in the ‘Lovecraft eZine’: The Crane Horror and The Case of the Galloway Eidolon. The latter was a Sherlock Holmes/Lovecraft crossover with a serious shout-out to The Dark Man by Robert E. Howard.
What book(s) are you currently reading? The Invasion Year by Dewey Lambdin and Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia.
Tell us one unusual fact about yourself. I walked away from a plane crash back in the early 70s.